first_imgWednesday, September 12, 2018Chance of storm in Gulf downgradedNational Hurricane CenterThis two-day tropical weather outlook displays all currently active tropical cyclones and disturbances with tropical cyclone formation potential over the next 48 hours.The National Hurricane Center on Wednesday morning downgraded the chance of a tropical depression or storm developing in the Gulf of Mexico by the end of the week from 70 to 60 percent. Still, officials say heavy rains could be problematic for areas of the Gulf Coast already saturated from rain throughout the past week.  Houston firefighters head to North CarolinaFour firefighters from the Houston Fire Department have been sent to North Carolina in response to Hurricane Florence, and one Houston firefighter has been sent to Hawaii to help with Tropical Storm Olivia. The firefighters are members of Texas Task Force 1, an emergency response team tased with urban search and rescue. A team of 16 responders was activated by FEMA this week.Move to disband special education committee surprises parentsLaura IsenseeHISD Board President Wanda Adams and Trustee Anne Sung listened to parents share their frustration and questions about special education in the district at a 2017 meeting. Sung is chairing a new committee on the issue.The Houston school board could disband its special education committee this week, a move that’s taken some parents and even some committee members by surprise.For years, Kara DeRocha has advocated for her son’s special needs. In May, she joined the district’s special ed committee to help amplify parents’ voices and guide trustees. She said that they didn’t get a warning the group could dissolve so soon. Life expectancy in Houston varies by neighborhoodSubmitting different addresses through a new tool from the United States Small-Area Life Expectancy Estimates Project (USALEEP) yields varying results between Houston neighborhoods. The project this week released life expectancy data down to census tracts around the country.  EPA moves to allow more methane emissionsOil and gas drillers across Texas could soon be allowed to emit a lot more methane into the air, under a proposal released by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Tuesday.The EPA is moving to roll back some Obama-era rules on how companies have to monitor and fix methane leaks at oil and gas sites. The agency says the proposal would advance the Trump Administration’s “energy dominance” agenda by cutting red tape and saving energy companies $484 million in regulatory costs related to methane tracking.center_img Congressional candidate Lizzie Pannill Fletcher on Houston MattersAl Ortiz/Houston Public MediaCongressional candidate Lizzie Pannill Fletcher was interviewed on Houston Matters on Sept. 11, 2018.As part of its series of interviews with candidates running in major political races, Houston Matters interviewed Tuesday Lizzie Pannill Fletcher, who is running for the Texas 7th Congressional District against incumbent U.S. Representative John Culberson.Fletcher, who is an attorney by profession, lamented the “extreme partisanship” in Congress and said it’s not adequately performing its checks and balances function. “We really haven’t seen this Congress performing that check on the executive branch.” Sharelast_img